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Ballistic Bone

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Marowak giving you a bone to pick with it.

"When are you going to run out and fall apart?"
Egoraptor, commenting on the bone-throwing skeletons, SequelitisCastlevania vs. Castlevania II

Bones flung as projectiles. Bone projectiles are extremely commonly thrown by Scary Skeletons. In most cases the launchers never run out of bones. This brings up the question whether the creature uses its own bones, the bones of others, or just bone-like things it somehow creates or summons. Usually Stock Femur Bones.

A subtrope of Abnormal Ammo and Bad with the Bone. Compare Spike Shooter, Throwing Your Sword Always Works, and Improvised Weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Horrorman from Anpanman, being a living skeleton, has a "Bone Boomerang" attack. It has varied from being one of his own bones, the crossbones on his shirt, and an endless pile of bones he carries with him. Despite being a boomerang, it doesn't always return like it should to him.
  • Zenon in Black Clover can shoot the sharpened bones formed from his Bone Magic as projectiles.
  • Fate/Zero has a literal case of this. Emiya Kiritsugu put pieces of bone extracted from his body into high-caliber bullets, turning them into a Counterspell.
  • Kimimaro from Naruto can use the bones in his body as weapons, including his fingertips as bullet-like projectiles. Justified in his case, since he can grow new bones with chakra.
    • Kaguya can shoot bones from her palms that reduce anybody they hit to ash.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • Marrow is typically more of a Bad with the Bone fighter, but she throws them from time to time as well.
    • A very minor X-Men villain named Spyne also had the power to hurl regenerating bones from his skeleton.
    • The Spike from X-Force has powers similar to Marrow, and sometimes grew large bone spears that he would then toss at enemies. Incidentally, he's black, and didn't much appreciate it when a teammate called him a "spearchucker" (even though that teammate was also black).

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey begins with an ape throwing a bone into the air.
  • eXistenZ featured a tooth-firing bio-gun.
  • In The Bullet Vanishes / The Phantom Bullet, people keep dying from what seem to be normal gunshot wounds, yet as per the title the bullet is nowhere to be found. The superstitious factory employees think it is a curse. The factory owner in collusion with a number of others were using shattering bullets machined from bone, initially they were unable to find the bullet due to it being 1930s Shanghai where forensics were not as well developed .
  • In The Pit and the Pendulum (1991), the executioner laughs at Esmeralda as he is preparing to burn her at the stake and she curses him: telling him that he will die at the same moment she does. However, when he lights the pyre, Esmeralda explodes (It Makes Sense in Context) and he dies: speared through the heart by a fragment of her bone hurled out by the explosion.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Spike pursued Wolverine through the forest at one point. Some bone spikes were thrown during pursuit, and after that two others were used in melee combat, leaving a pair of holes in Wolverine's shirt.

  • Polyphonica: In one of the Light Novels, titled Inspector Black, Managa and Matia figure out that the book's victim was killed by a bullet made of bone. Skull bone, to be exact, to blend in with the resulting fragments from the headshot. And the perpetrator, after spilling his secret in a bar, is nailed by the scar on his scalp where the bone was harvested. Pretty ingenious, actually.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On one episode of Bones, Gormogon packed a bomb with his master's teeth.
  • MythBusters tested teeth and bone bullets,note  both whether they would work at all and whether they would leave a pathologist wondering how the guy on the slab died. Busted: unshaped teeth are too inaccurate to hit the target, carving teeth to a bullet shape weakens them, and the pathologist had no trouble picking out the bone and teeth fragments.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has several examples:
    • Early editions had a couple of magical bones usable as ranged weapons.
      • When thrown at an opponent, the Bone of Bruising continuously attacked, doing minor damage and distracting the opponent.
      • If the Bone of Turning was thrown at and hit an undead, it acted as a a turning attempt by a 15th level cleric/priest.
      • The "red box" edition's Dungeon Master's guide mentioned a skeleton that shoots its fingers at you as an example of a customized monster.
    • Module A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords: The PCs could find a skull which could be thrown at opponents.
    • Ravenloft: Archer skeletons fire bone arrows, which can transform into additional skeletons if they miss their targets.
    • The original D&D Supplement I Greyhawk has skeletons that can hurl their finger joints as if they're magic arrows.
    • The Third Edition incarnation of skull lords, three-headed skeletal mages, can both invert and play this trope straight. With their "bone beckon" attack, a skull lord can cause bone shards and fragments to fly out of a victim's body into the grasp of the skull lord, who can use them to heal itself or other undead. Alternatively, a skull lord can then fire the bone shards as a projectile weapon, and if shot at the same creature who "donated" them, the attack will automatically hit unless the victim is in cover.
  • Some Abyssal charms in Exalted do pleasant things like hurling slivers of the Abyssal's finger bones at his enemies.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Skull Cannons of Khorne from Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 fire the skulls of those crushed beneath spiked wheels of the daemonic artillery back at their victims' former comrades.
    • Warhammer:
      • The Tomb Kings army has access to Screaming Skull Catapults (affectionately terms "Skull Chuckers" until around the turn of the millennium) — large trebuchets made from the bones of desert animals that fire flaming skulls at the foe.
      • The background material says that Nagashizzar, the fortress of the Great Necromancer Nagash, is protected by gigantic bolt throwers whose ammunition is the sharpened femur-bones of giants. While these Bone Throwers haven’t appeared in the main game they were an option for the Undead army in the large-scale Gaiden Game Warmaster.
    • In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar the Bonesplitter Orruks believe that the bones of wild beasts contain the energy of the Waaagh! The Savage Orruk Arrowboyz fire these bones from their primitive bows with such force that they can penetrate even a Chaos Knight’s armour.
  • Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer #7 article "Villains Finish First!". One of the sample villains, Horror, could rip off one of his bony fingers and hurl it like a dart.
  • Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic, adventure "Sorcerer's Isle": More than 2,000 wraiths guard the pile of treasure in the cave. If the PCs use one of their hybzee demons to try to steal the treasure, the wraiths will throw bones at the demon to drive it away.

    Video Games 
  • In Baroque, you can find many items; bones that you can throw are one of them.
  • Battle for Wesnoth's advanced skeleton archers shoot arrows made of their victims' bones.
  • One of the unlockable weapons in Bendy in Nightmare Run is a skull. Like everything else, it's for being thrown.
  • The Binding of Isaac has skeleton enemies that shoot bones. In Afterbirth+, Isaac can find the Compound Fracture powerup that changes his tears into bones that break into 1-3 smaller shards upon contact. Also, the secret character from that expansion uses a bone as his main weapon, usually as a melee club but it can be charged up and thrown like a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
  • Gargoyles in the Blood series throw sharp bones when they aren't raking you with talons.
  • This is a standard to the skeleton enemies in Castlevania games.
    • In Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, one of the Bird-Type Innocent Devils can cast a gatling gun-like flow of sharp bones bullets at the enemies, dealing damage as the enemy is showered with them.
    • The skeletons from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow can even throw their skulls at Soma and keep going.
    • In Circle of the Moon, there is a spell that turns the hero into a frail bone-throwing skeleton. This form has little mobility and any hit kills you. However, there's also an average chance of throwing a huge bone that can kill even the bosses in one or two hits.
  • Some skull-type enemies of Cave Story shoot them. As well, you fight the True Final Boss of the game on a floor made of bones. In the first two parts of the fight, he frequently performs a Ground Pound which sends out a shock wave of bones capable of hurting you. In the third part of the fight, he drops flaming skulls on you.
  • Clive Barker's Undying has a spell (the game's equivalent of a rocket launcher) that pulls skulls out of the ground, charges them with magic and fires them when you release the button. The ammo is justified by the island having been a battleground for pretty much forever, "Not an inch of this ground where someone hasn't died." Doesn't explain how you can use it up on the roof of the mansion, though...
  • In the Clonk pack 'Metal and Magic', the mystic can launch these using power drawn from an animal skull.
  • Ghouls in Darkest Dungeon carry across their chests a bandolier of skulls that are not just for show. Skull Toss is their go-to method of wrecking your backline: it causes a lot of physical damage, deals stress, and has a considerable chance of stunning the targeted hero.
  • The Diablo II Necromancer class can shoot Bone Spears and Teeth.
    • In the Demon Hunter trailer for Diablo III, the Demon Hunter uses the tooth of a slain demon as an arrowhead for one of her bolts, which is the first to get loosed against the demonic horde that is after the only survivor of a village massacre.
  • The roguelike Dungeon Crawl used to have a spell called Bone Shards that turned wielded skeletons into blasts of bone fragments. It's been removed now because the damage wasn't worth the trouble of getting and wielding a skeleton.
    • You can still reduce skeletal enemies to shrapnel with the Lee's Rapid Deconstruction spell, which, while intended for rock or stone walls, works on any suitably brittle substance.
  • Crossbow bolts can be carved out of animal bone in Dwarf Fortress, which is about half-way between this trope and Abnormal Ammo. They're not much use against large wild animals or any humanoid wearing even the most rudimentary armour, barring a lucky hit, but they're a cheap and readily available source of practice ammunition.
  • Egoboo has Bone Thrower Ulnas.
  • Bone arrows are one way to get into the Shivering Isles in the eponymous The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion expansion.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The skeletons that guard Blackberry's pyramid attack by kicking bones across the screen. They also don't adhere to petty limitations like the adult human body only having 206 bones on average.
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest: The Flamerus Rex boss has a bone missile attack.
  • Kingdom Rush: Vengeance has a tower called the Bone Flingers, consisting of animated skeletons throwing bones at their enemies. An upgrade makes them throw bigger, more damaging bones, and another upgrade allows them to summon a bone golem carrying a small skeleton who, you guessed it, throws bones.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Some varieties of Stalfos throw bones.
    • Stalnox in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can break off their rib bones and hurl them, though unlike most examples of the trope, they have a limited supply. You can also pull this off yourself using the dropped arms of Stal enemies and in the case of a Stalizalfos arm, it'll act as a fragile Precision-Guided Boomerang.
    • In Hyrule Warriors The Stalchildren "archers" use bones as projectiles.
  • In the MediEvil series, the first weapon that the protagonist, Sir Daniel Fortesque, has at his disposal is his own arm. It is pathetically weak, and should only be used in emergency situations (read: when you have absolutely nothing else), but he can use it as a bludgeon or, fitting this trope, as a boomerang.
  • It's probably just some sort of energy-field hologram thing, but Mega Man 4 features Skull Man, whose weapon is flying skulls.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: In Ancient Egypt, Tomb Raiser zombies can throw bones that turn into tombstones.
  • Pokémon: Cubone's and Marowak's signature move, Bonemerang, combines this trope with Precision-Guided Boomerang. Alolan Marowak can learn a Ghost-type version of the move named "Shadow Bone". That is, if you are aware it can and know how to do so.
  • Derek Simmons, the big boss of Leon's campaign in Resident Evil 6, has a form where it launches a machine-gun style barrage of bone shards at you as a projectile attack.
  • Skeleton enemies in Rogue Legacy can throw bones to deal damage from afar. Their most powerful variant can throw an entire shower of bones in a single throw.
  • The Cave Goblins of Runescape craft most of their weapons from bone, including their crossbows and the ammunition that goes with them.
  • Shadows of the Damned uses three types of ammo: skulls, teeth, and bones. Bones are used as ammo in a gun that Garcia colloquially calls "The Boner."
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: The skeletons in Hypno Baron's labyrinth throw Stock Femur Bone-s in an arc to attack.
  • In The Simpsons: Virtual Bart, the cavewoman version of Marge throws bone hairpieces. A nameless baby also throws bones.
  • The protagonist of Skul: The Hero Slayer can chuck his own head at enemies. It will also explode if he's using the Mummy ability!
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Dry Bones do this in some games since Super Mario World, most notably in the Paper Mario series. You can do this with the Bone sticker in Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
    • Mario Party 10: In the latter half of Bowser's Tank Terror, Dry Bowser can attack by throwing giant bones at Team Mario. He brings back this attack in Mario Party: Island Tour.
    • Mario Party: Star Rush: In Mega Dry Bones' Femur Fever, Dry Bones attacks by throwing giant bones at the players. The bones travel in a boomerang motion, starting at either the left or right side of the screen before flying to the other side, passing all the player characters along the way. Players must time their jump so they clear the bone in order to avoid damage.
  • In Terraria there are dungeon skeletons that drop bones which you can throw at enemies. They do a surprising amount of damage, far more than even shuriken.
  • During the boss fight against Papyrus in Undertale, his attacks consist of throwing bones of all kinds at you. If you check out his house later you'll even see a box full of them. Makes sense considering he's an ambulatory skeleton. You'll face an even more dangerous version of Papyrus' bone attacks if you make the mistake of provoking Sans enough for him to actually put effort into stopping you.
  • Vampire Survivors: A weapon literally called... Bone. Unsurprisingly, it's the signature weapon of a playable skeleton. It's thrown like a boomerang and bounces from enemy to enemy. Upgrades can allow it to split into more bones!
  • Some necromancers in World of Warcraft have spells with a projectile that looks like a bone. Several of the more threatening skeletal opponents also have bone projectiles.
  • The Fang Spitter weapon from WRATH: Aeon of Ruin... well... spits fangs at your enemies. Sometimes they're the fangs of your enemies.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-154 is a pair of bracelets that creates an Energy Bow that uses the bones of the arm holding it as the arrows. The bones regenerate instantly, however multiple uses can cause mutations of varying severity. Plus, firing it hurts a lot since it doesn't protect you from the pain of having your bones ripped out and rapidly regrown.
    • SCP-127 is an organic gun that fires humanlike teeth.

    Western Animation 
  • Ultimate Humongosaur from Ben 10: Ultimate Alien uses its knuckle bones as machine gun rounds.
  • In the Inspector Gadget episode "Old Man of the Mountain", a tribal warrior woman uses bones as arrows for a bow; she uses one to pop Inspector Gadget's inflatable coat.

    Real Life 
  • A certain tribe of Pacific Islanders uses arrow points made out of human bones. Preferably coming from a relative, mind.
  • Shark tooth arrows are common in Oceania and South America. After all, they don't need additional sharpening.
  • In Tercio/Line Infantry warfare (c.1550-1850) the most common form of shrapnel removed from the wounded was bone. Arquebus, matchlock, and musket barrels were made wide enough for them to fire bullets which could shatter even the body's largest bones and spray them out the other side of a man as shrapnel. The second-most common material removed from wounds was of course clothing. Overclothes were particularly dirty as they were rarely washed, since very few (common) dyes were capable of retaining their colour when washed with water (undyed underclothes were there to insulate your overclothes from your sweaty body, and were washed). Both bone and clothing had a tendency to cause infection when left in wounds.
  • Outside of 'grapeshot' (musket) range, the chief use of cannon on the battlefield was not to kill men by punching great big holes in them with solid shot. Rather, it was to kill or wound them by using solid shot to shatter the bones of their comrades and eject the fragments from their bodies at high speed as shrapnel.

Alternative Title(s): Bone Projectile


Dry Bones attack

Dry Bones' throw bones.

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